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Queer Book Reading! The End, by Nora Olsen

July 7, 2011

Queer Reading!

The End: Five Queer Kids Save the World

      by Nora Olsen

Tuesday July 12 at 7pm at In Other Words

“When I was about ten  years old, I read The Lathe of Heaven by feminist writer Ursula K. LeGuin. That novel takes place in Portland in a dystopian future, and it’s about a man who can change reality with his dreams. For instance, he has a dream that causes Mount Hood to erupt. I thought Ursula LeGuin had made up Mount Hood, and when I found out that it  was real, I wanted to see it.  Over the years I’ve read other science fiction novels set in Portland, like Never Wake, a lesbian romance by Gabrielle Goldsby, and Restoring Harmony, a peak oil YA novel by Joelle Anthony. Everything I know about Portland comes from science fiction! So I’m very happy that I get to visit this mysterious and intriguing city at last, and that I get to come as a science fiction writer.

I’m going to be at In Other Words, reading from my debut novel The End: Five Queer Kids Save The World. This is a Young Adult (YA) novel about a group of lesbian, bisexual, and transgender friends who must travel back in time to save the world from a nuclear disaster. The End is part of a new generation of queer novels for teenagers that are not “coming out” stories. Instead, they are action-packed tales where the main characters just so happen to be LGBTQ.  I’ll admit that there’s a smidge of first love and some serious issues in The End, but basically, it’s a time travel story. There’ll be a discussion after the reading so that you can talk about your favorite books or pepper me with questions. (“Does a non-apocalyptic Portland live up to your expectations?”)

Other than providing a good read, my goal in writing The End was to help create a world where LGBTQ youth are accepted and respected for who they are. These young people deserve a better world where they don’t have to deal with bullying or  homelessness. I guess I’ve read so much science fiction that I believe we can change reality with our dreams.”

-Nora Olsen


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